F*ck you for Everything Reflux


F*ck you Reflux. F*ck you for hurting my baby, my sweet beautiful baby girl. How lovely she is. But who would have known? Because of you, she has been dubbed the “bad baby,” “the difficult baby,” or “the crier.” No one but me knew there was a sweet laughing baby trapped in her arching, thrusting, screams. No one but me.

If I’m totally honest, there were even days I struggled to find love for my bundle of joy. After hours of crying, shushing, bouncing, and vomiting I had little space left for joy. There was no room for tender moments between mother and new baby. No time left for stolen kisses, edible toes, or breastfeeding snoozes. Those priceless moments were stolen from us.

For my baby’s infancy was a war zone soaked by a trail of tears. My beautiful baby girl was struggling for breath, for food, for sleep and it is all your fault. F*ck you Reflux. You stole so much from us.

F*ck you Reflux for the all the sleepless nights. As soon as the sun would set, my husband and I would put on our marching boots. Our little girl would start squirming, fussing, crying, and finally wailing. All the shushing and bouncing in the world could not stanch the tidal wave that consumed us every night.

During the day, all the crying was manageable. As long as I NEVER put her down, we could function. We managed. We survived. At night, the tenuous hold I had over you would be stripped away and your full force would overwhelm us. How many nights did we march my screaming baby around the yard? Hour after hour we marched. And why? I don’t know. It seemed to marginally help keep the screams at bay. It gave us purpose when we felt so impotent.

How many nights did I finally stop marching and simply sob while I clutched my howling baby in my arms?

Too many to count.

So my baby screamed, and screamed, and screamed. Until she finally had no fight left and would pass into a fitful sleep. But there was no rest for the weary. Hour after hour she would choke, gag, vomit, and cry. The only place she could find respite was prone on my chest while I sat bolt upright in bed. For months, none of us slept. I am so tired. So very f*cking tired. F*ck you Reflux.

F*ck you Reflux for making me feel so totally completely alone. I felt like a prisoner in my own home. Where could I go? Because of you, my baby cried all the time. In the car, in the store, at Chick-fil-a, at the doctor, at home, everywhere we cried. No one could watch my crying baby because the only person she wanted was me. I could not even go to work without my baby screaming the entire time I was gone.

So I stopped leaving. I stopped going. My crying baby was virtually attached to me. When I tried to reach out to tell people of our struggles, very few truly understood. Placating comments hardened my heart. How weary I grew of hearing “what a short season” this is or “it so worth it for such a beautiful baby,” or “it can’t be that bad.”

So alone, I felt so alone.

Even when I ventured out to meet with friends, I often felt jealous as I watch other new mommies snuggle with perfect babbling bundles of joy. I felt true regret that my baby could not be so lovely and then felt like the most awful mommy for such treacherous thoughts. I was her only ally and even I wanted to give her up. I wanted a new baby. F*ck you Reflux.

F*ck you Reflux for trying to steal my year, my baby’s infancy, my marriage, my family, my world. F*ck you for thinking my family was so weak. You underestimated us. You thought you had us beat. Today is the start of a new year with new promise. We are on the precipice of a life without you. The end is in sight.

Your scars run deep. The third baby I had always dreamed of will never be. My husband and I can’t even bear the thought of another year with you hanging around our neck. That yoke is too heavy so that third life will remain unknown to us.

But that is okay. My family is beautiful just the way it is. My little girl, my screaming wretched baby is beginning to bloom. She is so lovely, so undeniably beautiful, happy, and healthy. She melts my heart and her strength is something I hope she carries with her through this life like a shield. F*ck you Reflux for trying to break my little girl. F*ck you for trying to break me.

You didn’t break me. You made me stronger. I had to learn to fight. I had to fight through worry, exhaustion, and sorrow. You forced me to learn what it means to advocate for my daughter. “No” was no longer an acceptable answer. We went from one doctor to another until I found the answers we needed to hear. I read, I researched, I studied, and I armed myself. This was a battle I could not loose because the stakes were too high. When I thought I could not march one more step, I marched a hundred more. When I thought I would go insane if I had to listen to my baby cry one more minute, I clutched her tighter and prayed for the strength to journey on.

I found that strength. With time, lots and lots of medication (Thank you MARCI dosing), a frenectomy, more time, countless swings/chairs/baby sleepers, and even a certified sleep consultant we are still standing and we are beginning to thrive. Now I hear more laughter than screams. I have officially begun weaning off some of our medication. We have slept through the night a handful of times. We have met milestones that at one time seem like they were a lifetime away.

We have survived.

While I still start at every cry, I still feel my anxiety rise when she gets a bout of hiccups, and I still wear vomit more days than not, I know we are looking toward the future now. So from the very bottom of my heart, F*ck you Reflux.

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16 Comments on “F*ck you for Everything Reflux”

  1. I never leave comments on things like this but I had to comment to tell you how much this resonated with me.
    As the mother to a fellow reflux baby I have felt the same way as you so many times.
    We are in the midst of a cough/cold at the moment which I’m sure you’ll know makes reflux so much worse despite the medication. I’ll think about this post next time my daughter had drunk an ounce of milk and she’s now screaming. Or next time I watch an entire bottle of milk we worked so hard to have her drink comes straight back up again.
    Thank you ❤️

  2. I actually cried reading this post as it reminded me so much of my experiences with my eldest daughter, who is now a happy, healthy and sassy 4 year old who makes me laugh everyday!
    So many days and nights we sat and cried together. So many special occasions missed, birthday party’s, family get together as because I was embarrassed about my screaming baby. Having to continuously remind myself “This isn’t her fault.”To this day I still feel guilty about my feelings towards her then. But we made it through! Keep strong reflux mommy’s, it gets better!! Xxx

  3. This is so unbelievably familiar. And so very real. My son is now almost 5, but those days are still very fresh. I’m currently 8 months pregnant (after long debate between my husband and i) and terrified we may have walk this battlefield again. I tell myself knowledge is power so at least I will have a small but of ammunition this time. Thank you for sharing your story. Nice to know I’m not alone.

  4. This sounds just like our story, reflux is so relentless and it nearly broke all of us. Its difficult bringing back those memories now. Thinking about having a second baby is something my partner can only now start talking about because it was just that hard. I remember looking for other peoples stories when we were going through it, so thanks for sharing, its important that others see there is support and it not just them and their babies facing this horrible condition.

    1. I totally agree Liza. I still feel myself get anxious when I am around someone with a baby that has the same tenor of crying as my refluxer. I found a lot of solace in community when I was in the thick of it. I actually wrote this post originally to just share in one of the support groups I was active in. Good luck with you second baby. Regardless if your second is a refluxer or not, you know the ropes now and will be forewarned and forearmed. You got this.

  5. I could have written this myself. My daughter has reflux and it’s been a living hell the last few months. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    1. My pleasure Elizabeth. I am sorry to hear about your daughter. I would not wish this on any baby (OR PARENTS). Please reach out to me at jwimer@bornandfed.com if you have any questions about helping your daughter.

  6. This is soooo heart warming to read I truly felt every word on this article. It’s just horrendous and brings parents to their knees watching your baby in pain and fighting so hard for help. I read this through tears as we are currently battling this every day and it’s so so hard. I’m praying for the light at the end of the tunnel but feel so guilty for wishing her time away hoping she grows up quickly

    1. Alice, I am glad you were able to relate to this article but I am so sorry you are in the midst of this battle. I feel so much for parents facing infant reflux because I know how hard and isolating it can be. Please reach out to me at jwimer@bornandfed.com if you have any questions about helping control your baby’s reflux. I offer a counseling package but I am also happy to answer questions via e-mail.

  7. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing what so many of us feel and are scared to say. As I sat and read this tears poured down my face. Every part of this is exactly what iv been through and still going through.
    Thank you xxxx

    1. Samantha, thank you for your kind words. I am sorry to hear you are still struggling with your baby and reflux. Please reach out to me at jwimer@bornandfed.com if you have any questions about controlling your baby’s symptoms. I offer a reflux counseling package but I also am available to answer questions via e-mail.

  8. This. 1,000 times this. Reflux robbed our baby of so much. Reflux robbed my husband and I of so much as well. Under all the screaming, arching, wailing was this perfect little angel that now smiles non stop. He is the cuddliest amazing little guy and we never knew existed until we got his reflux under control.

    1. Jennifer, I felt the exact same way. There were so many times along the way that I doubted my baby. Is she just a crabby, high needs baby? Is this just her personality? No. She is 2 now and reflux is behind us and I can confidently say she was just miserable. I wanted other mothers out there doubting themselves and their babies to take heart. Their baby is not just crying because they are “spoiled” or “a difficult baby,” they are in pain. Thank you for your comments. I ams o glad you came out on the other side and are now enjoying your little boy!

  9. It is so good to know I’m not the only one who feels that the beautiful newborn moments were stolen and now he is one, barely a baby, I feel we missed out on so much. Things are definitely easier now but I can’t deal with him crying, no matter what it is for because we have heard a thousand lifetimes of it already.

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